We are an average family living in a crazy busy world, trying to juggle work, school, and family responsibilities. As a multi-generational family, we are always growing and changing. We have found that traveling all together with our family of 8 from the Grandparents on down to the little Grandbaby, provides a “time-out” where we can reconnect with the ones we love the most without daily interruptions or distractions. We have been to 6 continents and over 40 countries together! Our family adventures are tremendously educational and most of all, fun! It is our goal to encourage other families to take a “time out” together and go explore our amazing world!!!
Phil – Dad/Grandpa
Shani – Mom/Grandma
Kam – Oldest (27)/Momma to Becks
Stefen – Son-in-law/Married to Kam/Dad to Becks
Beckham – Grandbaby/Baby to Kam & Stef (3)
Tan – 2nd Oldest (24)
Sav – 3rd Oldest (20)
Easton – Baby (16)
Utah, United States
How old were your children the first time you went on holiday with them and where did you go?
When my parents were poor young parents they would take local trips down to Southern Utah and visit the National Parks down there like Arches, Zions etc. We would try to go to places that we could drive to, and that could fit in the budget. Disneyland was a favorite of course :).
We have now been to over 40 different countries and 6 different continents. Almost always traveling together! My how have times changed!
What important items do you always take with you on your travels?
- A first aid kit! (We have had to use this baby more times than we can count)
- Our detailed itinerary and copies of our passports. (Once my little brother almost wasn’t let out of the country of Zambia because my mom had forgotten a copy of my dad’s passport)
- A clean change of clothes in our carry-on luggage (Taking collectively 50-70+ flights a year, luggage is bound to get lost :))
Have you ever forgotten something important at home?
Haha, yes! My other brother (Tan) one time forgot his entire bag when we left on a trip when he was in high school. My parents kept telling him to make sure he had brought his bag up to get loaded into the car before we left for the airport and he still ended up forgetting. They made him spend his own money to buy some new clothes when we made it to our destination.
What was your favourite destination and why?
Oh goodness! I don’t think we can answer this question. It honestly changes. We could pick our top 3 maybe! We love South Africa, China, Rome, Venice, Peru — oh boy the list could go on and on. It would probably be easier to say the places that we didn’t love :). (There are only just a few!)
Where would your child/children love to travel to if they could choose?
We talk about this regularly and have a list of dream destinations! Right now Egypt and Israel are at the top of the list!
Do you usually travel on your own, with other family members (e.g. grandparents), friends or nanny?
Usually we travel with our family of 8. However, sometimes we do go with other family members like great grandparents and aunts and uncles. When we were little my parents would sometimes bring along our “family helper” to help out!
What do you think travelling abroad teaches your children?
Everything! As an adult now, I can honestly say that my career path was shaped by the travels my parents took me on as a child and teenager. My three year old – the grandbaby of the group – makes connections all of the time. He has learned about different religions, and races all from traveling. His current favorite thing to learn about is wildlife. He says his favorite animal was an “ottopus” (octopus) that we saw snorkeling in Bora Bora over a year ago. I think the most important thing that travel teaches is just how similar people are around the world. Almost everyone wants to be happy and have a successful family – no matter nationality or beliefs.
Do you have any tips or hints for other parents that make your travelling easier and more relaxed?
Plan in some SPACE from each other! Be okay if kids need to go chill out in their room for a little bit. If someone really doesn’t want to participate in an activity – don’t make them or be upset. Frustrations are bound to occur. Roll with them and be okay to let someone have some alone time.
How long in advance do you book a holiday?
Usually at least 6-9 months. Sometimes over a year in advance.
What makes your holiday perfect?
I don’t know if we have ever had a “perfect” holiday. Something always goes against the plan. I can’t tell you how many times someone has thrown up or we have gotten lost haha. I think what makes trips close to perfect is knowing there will always be a couple of “busts” in the trip and realizing it won’t be perfect! Oh and planning helps!!
Do you plan all the activities and sightseeing in advance?
Yes, almost all of them. We even make sure to plan in our down and free time. With a group of 8, if we don’t have something planned – we end up having to navigate 8 opinions when trying to figure out what we are going to do. We have found there is a fine line between over planning and under planning. And we always try to find a happy medium between the two.
Are you still one of those people that uses a travel agencies for all your holiday bookings or do you plan everything on your own?
Usually we book everything on our own. However, occasionally we will go through a family travel agency.
What is your favourite activity as a family when you are away?
Overall – everyone loves wildlife and adventure activities! The girls in the family are really drawn toward art and history while the boys are all about the golf. Activities that I know everyone will enjoy involve animal encounters or adventure.
Thanks to everyone at ourfamilypassport for sharing their insight, experiences and some awesome family photos.